Kauai, Hawaii - post Covid era

Finally, a vacation!
A week in Kauai for the umpteenth time. It will be interesting to see what has changed. I hope for fewer vacancies than around home.
I know the Princeville resort won’t be open yet so we will have to find another place to watch the sunset.
Otherwise, we shall report on those things that we love after our return in late May. We would love to hear if there is somewhere that others are dying to hear about, or those can’t miss that aren’t in everyone’s top 10. (We’ve mostly been there, done that, and know what we love.)

Aaron’s Kitchen, Hanapepe. Steam-table Filipino food at its finest. Really, really tasty, super friendly, zero atmosphere because it’s mostly takeout (but there are a few tables to eat at). Probably our favorite meal in Kauai, besides the supermarket poke that we usually eat for lunch. It is not at all for tourists, mostly a place for Filipino workers to pick up meals. The ladies behind the counter came and sat with us while we ate.


I’ll be interested to hear about your experiences, likes and dislikes. Is there anything in particular that you are looking for? Kauai is not a culinary destination, but it does have it’s gems. Obviously a good segment of the restaurant industry here is geared towards the visitor industry, but there are some very solid restaurants, and lots of places that cater to both residents and visitors with “local” food. The cuisine of Hawaii is unique blend of all of the cultures that make up the people of Hawaii.

Covid and the pandemic has changed the face of Kauai’s restaurant scene. Many restaurants did not survive the pandemic, and many changed ownership. Those that are open are still navigating the resurgence of visitors with concurrent staffing issues.

I hope you have a great trip, and am interested in hearing your observations.

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Are you staying at or near Princeville?

The island is so small and easy to drive, where we stay is irrelevant, but yes, for part of the trip we will be on the North shore near Princeville.

I stayed at Princeville without a car- so I didn’t end up travelling south of Lihue. I took taxis, the local bus and an airport shuttle.

A car certainly gives you more freedom. :slight_smile:

Yes? We are equal opportunity eaters and go wherever the experience takes us.
Mostly, I’m looking for where to go so that I don’t focus on what is gone like I seem to be doing here at home.

Also I don’t want to get stuck in a rut going to the same places when there may be new ones

Here are some of my random thoughts on what we might do…

Oasis for a late lunch and cocktails
Lilikoi pie in Lihue on the way in from the airport
Community Center farmers market
Hanapepe for a book and some pastries
Kalaheo Cafè for brunch
Stop in at Kauai Juice for the hot sauce
Pinks or Tropical Dreams for cones
Ally’s Cocina Arepas

Kilauea for fish still? Where for sushi? Who has the best Nori wrap now? Anyone still doing fluffy macnut pancakes that aren’t too too touristy?

Is Merriman’s the best choice for a nice meal?

Really open to new or recommendations to places we might love or have forgotten.

I liked the sushi at The Dolphin.
I also liked the farmers’ market in Hanalei.

I enjoyed some coffees and a quick & casual breakfast at The Spot.

As nut milks go, macadamia milk is far superior to oat, soy and almond milk. I can actually say I enjoyed the macadamia milk cappuccino at The Spot. :smiley:

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The trip was lovely. Back yesterday, there are many things to share in detailed reports but here is the teaser:

We stayed on the North Shore of Kauai and I am happy to say the food there is even better than pre-covid.
We had better than average meals at Postcards Cafe (“new” chef), Ama, and Baracuda.
Fish from The Dolphin was as crazy fresh as usual.
Oasis was a mixed experience.
We had a lovely surprise and fabulous meal for any city at Grandma’s Japanese in Hanapepe.
We have a new favorite farmers market and shave ice in Kilauea.
Only one “famous person” sighting and too few Nene. But overall, the trip was divine and I finally got to taste a fresh Mountain apple.